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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:29 pm

Has announced he will retire from international cricket after this test.

Great great great player, hopefully he can pull off one more 4th innings masterpiece to save South Africa

http://www.cricket.co.za/news_article.aspx?id=3528&section=news&subsection=news_all

Also for our Surrey contingent

"@TheCricketGeek: Graeme Smith is an Irish citizen. Can play for Surrey as a non overseas this summer. Big news for them"
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Post by Gerry SA on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:42 pm

So sad that Biff's retiring but I felt this was coming. 

A behemoth. The boy who become the man that lead us to the very top. 

Hard as nails. Tough. Iron willed. 

As the curtain comes down, one final 4th innings victory match would be very special. 

Thanks for the memories Biff.

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Post by skyeman on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:52 pm

Blimey, was not expecting this. He is only 33.

"I have always been someone who has left everything out there on the field for my team and for my country.

Never a more pertinent word said.

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Post by KP_fan on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:55 pm

skyeman wrote:Blimey, was not expecting this. He is only 33.

"I have always been someone who has left everything out there on the field for my team and for my country.

Never a more pertinent word said.

i told ya........he had visibly run out of hunger Wink
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Post by skyeman on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:56 pm

KP_fan wrote:
skyeman wrote:Blimey, was not expecting this. He is only 33.

"I have always been someone who has left everything out there on the field for my team and for my country.

Never a more pertinent word said.

i told ya........he had visibly run out of hunger Wink


Leave that for another thread KP.

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Post by KP_fan on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 10:58 pm

skyeman wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
skyeman wrote:Blimey, was not expecting this. He is only 33.

"I have always been someone who has left everything out there on the field for my team and for my country.

Never a more pertinent word said.

i told ya........he had visibly run out of hunger Wink


Leave that for another thread KP.

he should have gone with Kallis
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Post by Biltong on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 12:51 am

As a south african supporter we have been wondering when this was going to come, his commitment to his family, becoming an Irish citizen, his contract with Surrey, wife, new baby and his threat of resigning over selection issues which can only mean quota's

He was a good captain for SA and led us thorugh one of our best patches in the international arena.

But, all good things come to an end, I susoect we will see AB or Amla take over as test captain, this means we can start rebuilding with the talented youngsters and uild a next generation of players at international level.
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Post by guildfordbat on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 3:02 am

Olly wrote:Has announced he will retire from international cricket after this test.

Great great great player, hopefully he can pull off one more 4th innings masterpiece to save South Africa

http://www.cricket.co.za/news_article.aspx?id=3528&section=news&subsection=news_all

Also for our Surrey contingent

"@TheCricketGeek: Graeme Smith is an Irish citizen. Can play for Surrey as a non overseas this summer. Big news for them"

Not particularly surprised by the decision - quite a few at Surrey thought it would happen. However, am surprised it has happened so soon - thought it would be 6 to 12 months down the line. I assume TheCricketGeek is correct - it seems odd and, to my mind, not entirely right that within little more than 5 minutes of retiring as a South Africa Test player, Smith can be classified as a non overseas player (notwithstanding his Irish citizenship).

Anyway, that is really all for another day. Now is the time for South Africa to praise his immense contribution and consider who comes next.

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Post by msp83 on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 8:19 am

Oh, this came from nowhere. Can't imagine South Africa without Captain Colossal.
Smith hasn't been the most esthetically pleasing batsman to have walked the earth. In fact as he self-deprecatingly said the other day, he made a career out of looking ugly!. But he has been one of my real favorite players. The world has taken note of his captaincy achievements. Sure South Africa haven't won a global trophy under his leadership, but he took them to the top of the tast rankings, and after the end of the Australian era, no other side looked like staying there for some time, other than Smith's South Africa.
His batting achievements are also quite a lot. Smith has been one of the most successful openers of his era, averaging close to 50 with that technique of his. He has been a 4th innings master, and SA are yet to lose a test where he has scored a hundred?
The South African side will have to play out of their skins for the reminder of this test, they just shouldn't send there skipper away with a loss. Come one Graeme, produce one of those 4th innings specials one last time!. What a way to go that will be!.
He might go for a duck and SA might get thumped in this game, but that won't matter too much in the end, Graeme Smith's legacy is pretty much entrenched in cricketing traditions.

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Post by kingraf on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 9:20 am

quite the shock, really. Fact is, Smith had what is called a lifetime term as captain, could retire whenever he feels it necessary. Had a pretty much unopposed role in selections as well. Can only think he had grown tired of the game, combined with the reality that he probably wasn't going to another limited overs knock out competition. Or he picked up another injury, and it just seemed a long way back. Been a great servant of South African cricket, possibly our greatest ever opener, and our greatest ever captain (if, like me, you think throwing games isn't becoming of a captain.).

The dynasty seems to be crumbling at a rate of knots now.
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Post by Biltong on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 10:15 am

Kingraf, we expected a few to retire, Kallis and Smith was foremost on my mind anyway.

The rest are 30 or younger, so I reckon we will go a few years at least before the rest retires.
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Post by shivfan on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 10:49 am

Financially, does Smith lose much from this retirement? I mean, he can now play a full season for Surrey, and can continue playing for the county for a number of years to come....

How does a Surrey salary compare to a Saffer central contract?

I gather that Chris Jordan's Sussex contract amounted to more than he could earn playing for the West Indies, hence why the Bajan opted for his new country....
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Post by Biltong on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 10:55 am

Salaries for SA cricketers are a very closely guarded secret, we have no idea.
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Post by kingraf on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 11:16 am

Gibbs was earning about $3000 a match... about ten years ago. And Smith owned a million dollar home pre IPL, so I assume they are well taken care of
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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 11:31 am

to be fair to Smith, he may "only" be 33, but he's been captaining the side for something like 11 years now, right? (took over post 2003 WC debacle IIRC). That must take its toll eventually.

A true modern great though, sad to see yet another one go. The 4th innings master.

Elgar showed in the previous game that he was equipped to the opening slot, so he'll move up in all likelihood. I do wonder if asking De Villiers to captain, keep wicket and be one of the two main batsmen is a bit much though. I know he does it in ODIs but he plays more of the finisher role and of course it's a different requriement to 5 days cricket. If you make AB captain, do you bring in De Kock and give him the gloves? Possibly. AB's glovework has been shoddy this series...

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Post by alfie on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 1:32 pm

Think MFC hit it on the head...eleven years as skipper is probably enough. Wasn't going to pack it in before this series ; but I think the next "big" Test series for SA is some way off now ? So perhaps the right time.
Unsure whether announcing it mid-match was smart ; but he should know his players and presumably thinks it will motivate them rather than bring them down...

Whatever the ending , he has been a great servant to South African cricket , and a fierce competitor . Deserves all our applause  clap 

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Post by kingraf on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:29 am

Interesting to see where South Africa go from here. Much as I like Abbas, I think DuP is probably a more natural skipper, and having had a reasonable summer, question marks over his form should temporarily quieten down. Alviro Petersen on the other hand didn't quite answer all his critics, but he does boast success as a captain at franchise level - The Lions were ridiculously good during his tenure. Probably the most obvious choice in pure captaincy terms... but I'm not sure AP is a big enough dressing room character.
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Post by msp83 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 10:04 am

AB is one of my absolute favorites as a player. But I think captaincy has had an adverse impact on him. He seemed confused even as a batsman, unsure of the kind of role he has to play in the limited overs side. Fielding setting, ringing in the bowling changes, it all sat comfortably on his shoulders that were already carrying the responsibilities of being the top batter as well as the wicketkeeper, all with a bad back remember.
Faf has been too inconsistent in ODIs, that is the real concern about him. But since not many young batsmen outside the usual squad are shouting 'Pik Me' with their performances, think SA should go that way. relieve AB of the ODI captaincy as well and bat him at 4 in ODIs and 3 in T-20s.
Now that there is another opening in the test side, bring in Quinton de Kock and bat him at 6 with Faf moving back to 4. But if QdK is taking the gloves, bat AB at 4 and Faf at 5.

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Post by KP_fan on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 1:20 pm

With the strong focus on affirmative actions w.r.t "colored" citizens........and given his calm demenour, prime form, assured place.......Amla would be my choice if I was CSA / selector ( dunno who makes the decision)
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Post by kingraf on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 1:50 pm

Amla would actually be a good choice (without bringing colour into it) Captained the Dolphins to a FC title at 21, captained S.A. u/19 to a final in the 2002 world cup... but Amla is about as willing to captain as I'm willing to go vegan
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Post by alfie on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 2:10 pm

Perhaps how keen de Villiers is to take it on will be a major consideration ? Granted it puts a lot of weight on him ; but if he really wants the job it would be a bit of a slap in the face to appoint anyone else.

Of course you don't make decisions like this just to keep people happy ... but AB is in the form of his life , looks ever more vital to SA as the necessary rebuilding takes place : I would want a very good alternative to risk undermining his confidence by rejecting him without trial...Seems to me appointing him at least in the short term is the most logical step.

Of course I don't know enough about these fellows personally - you SA posters may have a better idea of how de Villiers would feel about things ?

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Post by Biltong on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 2:23 pm

I think this will be a tough choice, I don't think de Villiers wants to give up the Keeping yet, I think he would want de Kock to work on his skills first before he is ready to move on, the question is who CSA wants to have the captaincy job.

Apart from de Villiers and du Plessis who else is a realistic option?

I know du Plessis is a risk in my opinion.
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Post by dummy_half on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 2:49 pm

As an England fan, on hearing of Smith's retirement my reaction was 'thank f"@k for that'. From an opposition fan, that is high praise for someone whose career was based on absolute bloody-mindedness, and who always seemed to thrive playing in England.

Slightly surprised that he's given it away so (relatively) young, but as others have pointed out he's got a lot of miles on the clock both in terms of the concentration required by his batting and from having been the SA captain for over a decade.

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Post by invisiblecoolers on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 5:18 am

Smith left with a smile, a gentle Giant of the game, a great servent to Cricket in general let alone CSA.

Yes Smith will be missed, indeed missed big time, but I do believe all things do come to an end, his duty is accomplished that is to resurrect the South African cricket and take it to next level.

Take a Bow Biff.  notworthy notworthy notworthy 

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Post by Biltong on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 7:55 am

In my mind Graeme Smith epitomises the South African mindset, we may not always be the most talented, or the smartest, but through sheer will of determination we accomplish a lot.
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Post by kingraf on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 8:15 am

He really does, doesn't he... We do seem to be a country that believes will eventually defeats skill.
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Post by Biltong on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:16 am

Yep, I call it the Rhino syndrome, drop the head and charge, we are especially good at it when we play rugby, eh? Wink
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Post by kingraf on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:18 am

Yep - Run at faces, not spaces!!
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Post by Pal Joey on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 11:33 am

Vertically stomping you mean?   Whistle  

No, I agree with what Biltong says. South Africans are very physical when they play sport (especially rugby and cricket) and when it all clicks they are nigh on unbeatable. Pure intimidation is a fantastic weapon to have in the armoury and I can assure you the rest of the sporting world is in both a state of awe and envy when they are lucky enough to witness it in operation against some poor unfortunate opposition.

This, I believe, is why everyone always says Australia and SA are very similar in many respect. Brutal, raw aggression.Other countries may try to be like that or even try and emulate it - but for us it comes quite naturally.

Since we don't have a beast as big and brutal as a rhino... the closest thing I can come up with for an analogy to Australian sporting symbolism is either a caged crocodile or perhaps a dominant male kangaroo with rabies. Or... I just thought of one... a large and angry unfed great white shark.

I wish Graeme Smith well in whatever he does in the future. I must admit I was a little shocked to hear him announce his retirement mid way through this last match; however I understand (via other remarkable sportmen's actions) that someone with so much accomplishment and responsibility can reach a critical situation where the decision is made immediately at a particular point in time - for a very valid reason.

Once that thought enters the mind - they are as good as retired. In their mind anyway. That's all that counts. Think of Adam Gilchrist for example... suddenly announcing his retirement... it was a shock for me to hear the words he uttered... just because he thought his form wasn't "good enough". He'd simply dropped or mistimed a take by a fraction of a second he had said. We all saw it. Surely he could re-address the problem and all would be sweet? (to the untrained eye!) Why not another game or one more year? No, he said - Test cricket demands perfection. There's nothing we, as spectators and fans, can do about that however. The player themselves knows best when it is time to step aside. This is how Graeme must have felt after Day 3.

As for Smithy's successor - ABDV seems the obvious choice. He would maintain the fear and hopefully it wouldn't detract from his other roles & responsibilities in the side. I can understand that it might be too huge a burden for him but if anyone can cope - it is him. (in my mind)

Other than him... maybe Hashim Amla? Not sure about the "mental & technical" side of his captaincy capabilities but great players tend to grow into the role once anointed. I just feel he is not visibly intimidating or aggressive enough - though I may be very wrong there.
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